Virginia libraries will stamp out their ink stamps

The thud of ink-stamping will soon vanish from public libraries in Fairfax County, Va. Instead patrons will receive receipts listing each checked-out item with its due date.

Library director Edwin S. Clay III estimated the county will save more than $59,500 in the first year, because branch librarians now spend up to four hours per day stamping due dates onto books.

The receipts will be generated by the Unicorn tracking system from Sirsi Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., running on a Sun Microsystems Inc. server and using an Oracle Corp. database.

Library patrons can sign up to get automatic e-mail alerts three days before their books are due, library spokeswoman Lois Kirkpatrick said. If they lose their receipts, they can check due dates on the My Account section of the library's online catalog or call a local branch.

The card pockets on the back covers of the library's 2 million books will be sealed up, Kirkpatrick said, and new books will not need pockets.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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